Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Fave Five: Depressing Moments From 2015

1) Call of Duty still gets no love.
Why? Because Modern Warfare 3 was, from the fan's perspective, god awful. In reality, It's a decent game with a single player campaign that offers a satisfactory conclusion to Modern Warfare 2's latched-on excuse of a plot. But it also cemented the franchise's reputation for not being innovative enough with its sequels and for becoming as formulaic as the likes of Dynasty Warriors or the average sports franchise. Depending on who you ask, even the critics and detractors can agree that either Advanced Warfare or Black Ops 3 was a step in the right direction. Unless you're a fanboy, in which case, fuck you.

Nonetheless, Call of Duty is still a twitch shooter on steroids where every gun is overpowered and the guns that are nerfed are damn near useless. It'd be easier trying to beat Hotline Miami than to survive a round of this game, which is probably why the game is way more popular in the competitive scene. It's nice to know that there are people defending the game that aren't stupid six-year-old brats or grown men who act like them.

2) Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid
I'm not ashamed of admitting I enjoy fanservice-laden anime and panty fighters, mostly because its the internet. If its misogynistic and sexist to enjoy smut yet also support gay marriage and believe women can do everything a man can do and more, then call me a pig. Besides, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too, to have racy content and a good narrative, and Valkyrie Drive: not a good example.

What really sells a show like this is likable, relatable characters and a plot that doesn't get in the way. Mermaid knows its audience (Hi! I'm Kira) and gives them what they want, physical and very sexual girl-on-girl action, but because of its unlikable characters and uninteresting plot, the rest of the show beyond the infectious opening becomes a pointless waste.

Let's just say that I was more impressed with Yuri Kuma.

3) Jimmy Kimmel Offending Gamers
I'm not going into details. Let's just hope that the "other" Jimmy's ordeal helps get the message across to the likes of Spike, ESPN, and other television brands and personalities that if you're gonna do ANYTHING that offends the gaming community at large, don't. Just. Don't.

4) Konami
Once an iconic name in the gaming industry, Konami is now associated with the likes of Uwe Boll for being one of gaming's most hated figures. The shit Konami has pulled in recent years has turned a few heads, but its the controversy surrounding Silent Hills, P.T, Metal Gear Solid V, and recent Castlevania outings that earned them more hatred than EA, Activision, or Ubisoft could have ever had.

It would be nothing short of karma if these guys fall harder than THQ did.

5) Donald Trump for President
What started out as the funniest joke I've heard from American politics since Arnold Schwarzenegger running for governor, or whatever, has become one of the reasons why I'm grateful to live in Canada. I don't give a crap about politics, aside from democracy, but I'm pretty sure a racist, ignorant, twat better known for appearing on reality TV and for being rich as hell isn't really the best candidate most people would pick to run an entire country.

I can't judge whether or not Steven Harper wasn't a good Prime Minister, even though he did try to kill the CBC, but I can sure as hell say he wasn't a horrible monster. I don't need to say anything else other than this: if Trump for President is a joke, than its comedy at its worst.

Now, Kanye West for president? THAT'S funny!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Is This the End of Teletoon at Night?

...Better question: Did Santa give me a present or what!?
Let's face facts: Teletoon has never been "Cartoon Network Canada". Sure, they aired Cartoon Network shows, but it was their own output that made them a household name and, now, a worldwide brand. Nowadays, the difference between the two couldn't be any more definitive. Cartoon Network's output has become just as popular with adults as it has been with kids. Hence the reason why Regular Show and Adventure Time are critically-acclaimed, award-winning, flagship shows, whereas, the likes of Teen Titans Go are seen as the children's equivalent to Brickleberry.

Teletoon's output has become the latter, with shows like Johnny Test and Total Drama getting a lot more fans north of the border and just as much scorn down south. With Cartoon Network's original shows now airing exclusively on the Canadian version, and with the pick-and-pay revolution just a few months away, older viewers (like myself) are jumping ship. All that was stopping them was the long-awaited arrival of Bob's Burgers to Teletoon at Night, with the anticipated return of Archer in January.

..But then, THIS happened! On top of FINALLY getting Rick and Morty, it seems Adult Swim is taking reruns of Bob's Burgers and the new season of Archer from Teletoon! For those of you keeping track, [as] has also stolen away Fox's animated sitcoms, Night Sweats and the new season of Fugget About It. After Teletoon Retro was closed, I knew it was high-time that Teletoon Prime addressed the overlap between Adult Swim and Teletoon at Night. It seems as though they've finally made a decision.

The end of Retro left open a void that Teletoon could potentially fill once CanCon requirements are lowered and they no longer have to rely on reruns of Johnny Test. Nostalgia is a trend, but as TeenNick has proven, its a trend that brings in a desired crowd. A block for classic cartoons should be the replacement for Teletoon at Night because, if the "movies" Teletoon at Night we're referring to in the FAQ are the same twelve live-action movies they've been playing for years, then the block is as good as dead.

Again, Let's face facts: No one watches animation networks for live-action programming. The only reason Adult Swim got away with it was because their shows were leagues above CN Real. Likewise, the only reason Teletoon at Night got away with it was because, up until now, it was the only network that targets a demo that neither YTV, ABC Spark or any other rival channel could ever properly serve: Young Adult Men. Three years and the rise of cord-cutting later, the former channel as a whole is growing from being the equivalent of Nickelodeon Canada - which might as well be called "Nicktoons Canada" - into an actual domestic counterpart to Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

The CRTC's Let's Talk TV hearings forced the hand of Corus Entertainment. It made them to close the general-interest, premium service, Movie Central, because their women and kids' brands were more popular and streaming services like Netfilx offers more choice than seven linear channels. It made them close Teletoon Retro because, with Family Channel ditching Disney programming, they can become the sole operator of the big three American children's brands.

I'm not saying all these changes are for the better; I'm saying it's better to get with the times then to be left behind. Would you rather have a block that airs Adult Swim shows, Fox and FX animated comedies, original Canadian-made shows, and the occasional live-action movie or a block that just airs live-action movies? Clearly, Corus has favored Adult Swim as the better block to target adults and, like-wise, viewers who used to watch Teletoon as kids now prefer Cartoon Network as adults. All that's missing is Toonami, but don't get your hopes up.

Now if only MTV2 would actually air MTV2 shows...

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Decoys, Species, and Lifeforce vs Vampire Cheeleaders

Decoys, Species, and Lifeforce are about aliens disguised as beautiful, attractive women who use their sex appeal to seduce men into having sex with them for their own gain. In the case of Decoys and Species, they're trying to mate with the human race to save/expand their own. In the case of Lifeforce, they're trying to bring about the galactic rapture. These movies are very much guilty pleasures for me, but only because they share one crippling, fatal flaw: the aliens aren't the protagonists.

If I learned anything from premium television, anime, comic books, and video games, its that, in stories like this, the villains are always the most interesting characters, especially if they're superhuman femme fatales (and vice-versa). So why not make them the protagonist? I wouldn't mind if we're talking about a slasher flick or torture porn or (if that's not a good enough description for them, then) whatever the hell Saw is supposed to be. However, in a thriller about horny, humanoid, creatures who've weaponized sex against us, do you really expect for me to root for the cockblockers? The boring, white, cardboard-cutout, protagonist I see in every other movie?

Anyone who's read Vampire Cheerleaders will agree with me on this one. It's a comedic web comic (or web manga, given the premise) that's exactly what it says: a story about undead bloodsuckers who just happen to be spoiled, bitchy, cheerleader stereotypes. It's slice of life gone bloody wrong; within the first volume our protagonists have "initiated" a naive girl into their ranks, enthralled her family and turned the hero antagonist into their slave.

These girls are straight-forward villains and, if it were a different story in a different genre, your first instinct would be to root against them. Yet, by the third volume, when the heroes are competent enough to stop them, the fandom found themselves rooting for the vampires, despite the horrible things they've done. This is what happens when you've created despicable villains who are also very likable characters and made them the protagonists. Tell me you haven't watch a movie or TV show where the villains were more likable than the heroes (okemon-Pay) and you wished the story was about them.

Going back to the gutter with a fresh new suit, the aliens in Decoys are simply trying to protect their race from going extinct. They didn't mean to leave a trail of frozen corpses, but if they must... Meanwhile, the "heroes" are just hormone-crazed college students who realized too late that these girls are not what they seem. Am I supposed to believe that, at the drop of a hat, they go from the annoying kids you're more likely to find in an episode of Degrassi to a group of alien exterminators? Screw that!

Granted, if the villains of these movies were the true protagonists, the ending would either be tragic for the villains or horrendous for humanity. On the other hand, aren't thrillers supposed to have bittersweet endings at the very least? Perhaps I should be looking for a sci-fi black comedy instead? I guess it is too much to ask for junk food to be compelling. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have guilty pleasures like these and we wouldn't be asking ourselves how we can make them as "decent" as the stuff we normally enjoy. If you enjoyed it for what it is, then who cares what others think, right?

...On the subject of horror franchises making a comeback, is a third Decoys movie or a television series really too much to ask?

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Less of a Pikachu, More of a Bear [December 2015 Update]

I'm not doing anything right now. Because its winter, I like to kick back and relax. But in my relaxation, I forgot to upload some videos I made, but hey, no one watches them anyways. Maybe I'll upload the rest of the SmashVines I recorded before the year ends. Maybe. Sadly, I'm gonna have to scrap the next Shoopa Smash movie. Why? Because my computer simply can't record any Smash Flash/Crusade footage. Too much resources, so little power. Instead, I'll upload them as separate videos on my channel, again, before the year ends.

As far as machinima goes, I really don't have anything in the pipeline besides the occasional sketch video. I'm still gonna finish Reycralibur, but it's not my number one priority anymore. Also, Aile x Opal is cancelled. So, there's that. I know that most people who do watch my videos wanna see more SSB4 machinima, so I'll give to them. In the new year, I'll be sure to make more Smash 4 machinima videos. Because I'm a benevolent god.

As far as rants go, nothing has really bugged me in recent months. Sure, Konami - aka "the Yu-Gi-Oh Company", since that's all they're good for - has really transcended to Uwe Boll levels of disgusting thanks to what happened at The Game Awards. Sure, small broadcast networks like Comet, Bounce TV, and Cozi TV have become superior to cable networks like Syfy, BET, and Boomerang (Ha!). Sure, Disney XD and TBS are making e-sports more prominent, whereas ESPN has made it a laughing stalk in the past. And yes, Destination America truly does suck now that they've lost TNA and Ring of Honor, the only programming worth a damn on what is otherwise another worthless lifestyle channel in the midst of a pick-and-pay revolution.

But hey, it's the holidays. Why spoil the mood?

My new year's resolution is to stop making goals I can't keep. I'm never going back to Twitch; I'm not gonna make more than one episode of Reycralibur; and I'm never going to become famous on the internet. I'm just gonna do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it. Besides, what's the point of being famous on a website that wants to be the new Hulu? I'm better off getting a following on ZippCast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to sleep.